As summer is drawing to a close and the days are getting colder, I thought now would be the perfect time to reflect on my holiday to Split, Croatia. Because everyone needs a bit of sunshine in their days right?
Croatia is a truly beautiful country; crystal clear waters, polished marble cities, and tonnes of islands to explore. I would even go as far as to say that it is paradise. I have actually been on holiday to Dubrovnik, arguable Croatia’s most famous city, before. But this year I was desperate to explore Split.
This Travel Diary will feature some practical tips and information for those of you that may be considering Split for your next getaway. But, it will also give you a little look into what I got up to!
After arriving at Split airport, which is as tiny as you would expect, we took the airport shuttle bus into town. The bus journey takes around 40 minutes and leaves from the airport every 30 minutes, costing only 30KN. I would definitely say this is the easiest and cheapest way to get into Split if you are on a budget like me. Don’t worry, the shuttle bus is easy enough to locate. All you have to do is look for the queue of people outside the airport!
Day 1: Arrival
We decided to stay in an AirBnB just a few minutes walk from the old town and I am so happy that we did. Seriously, if you are thinking of staying in Split, then I would 100% recommend the Aurelia Apartments. Our hosts were absolutely lovely, giving us loads of tips and even a couple of presents! They really went above and beyond any AirBnB experience that I have ever had.
As we arrived pretty late, all we had time to do that night was go out for dinner. We went to a restaurant called The Olive Tree on the Riva Promenade which was nice, but a little bit pricey. Luckily the portion sizes were HUGE, which we soon realised is the case with most restaurants in Croatia! At least you are getting a lot for your money.
One thing you should watch out for in Croatia is that when you are eating out, they may bring out little appetizers or bread to your table, which is not complementary. They will add it onto your bill regardless of whether you eat it or not!
Day 2: Exploring Split – Diocletian’s Palace and Beyond
For our first full day, we decided to explore the Old Town of Split, which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The interesting thing about Split’s Old Town is that it is mainly made up of Diocletian’s Palace. Everything is built inside its walls, so there are a lot of winding alleys and plenty of hidden gems to discover. As well as this, no cars are allowed in the old town, which makes it very serene.
The first thing on the agenda was escaping the sweltering mid-day heat. So, we decided to explore the Basement of the palace for 42KN. This was the perfect was to discover what the palace would have been like when it was first built and a good place to learn about the history of the city.
The Cathedral and Bell Tower
After this, it was onto the Cathedral and Bell Tower! This is in one of the main squares of the palace, and is definitely one of the most prominent landmarks in the area. You can pay 50KN for access to the Cathedral, bell tower and the crypt, which is what we did. But, to be honest, it is probably only worth paying for the Bell Tower. The Cathedral was absolutely lovely, but the word “Cathedral” is a bit of a stretch. If you are into church architecture, then go for it, but be aware that it is very small!
My plan was to take some great Instagram shots from the top of the Bell Tower, until I suddenly realised that I am afraid of heights. It took me 21 years, but I guess we all have to figure it out at some point right? The tower itself isn’t actually that high, but the stairs leading up to the top were not up to my health and safety standards. So instead, my boyfriend took some nice shots of the city views!
Day 3: The Island of Hvar
Hvar was on the top of my list of islands I wanted to visit near Split. If it’s good enough for Beyoncé and Jay Z, then it’s good enough for me! If you are wanting to visit Hvar, either for the day or overnight, be aware that you have to book your ferry tickets a day in advance.
The ticket vendor is basically opposite where you get off the airport shuttle bus, so it isn’t that difficult to find. Unfortunately, the ferry services don’t operate as often as you would hope. We ended up only having a total of 4 hours in Hvar, so if you want more time to explore I would definitely consider staying the night. The ferry takes around an hour and there are toilets and refreshments available.
After wandering around the town for an hour, we decided to head to the beach! We found a lovely spot right in front of a hotel about 15 minutes walk from the centre and spent the rest our time relaxing!
Day 4: Trogir
To get to Trogir we took the No.37 bus from the bus station, which took about an hour. However, you can also get a ferry there, which I would recommend if you want a more pleasant travelling experience. Please learn from my mistakes.
Trogir is a lovely, picturesque little town. All the guide books peg it as the Venice of Croatia and to be honest I have no idea why. If you are imagining gondolas, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Either way, it’s a great place to go for a quick trip in the morning. There isn’t really enough there to occupy you for the whole day, but it is definitely worth a visit!
That night we continued our search for cheap bar and ended up at Rodrigo Bar, which is great if you’re on a budget!
Day 5: Beaches Near Split
Yes, we had another beach day. On the recommendation of our AirBnB hosts, we took the No.12 bus from the end of the Riva Promenade and spent the day at a beach just outside of Split. It was absolutely beautiful with a lovely beach side bar where we even indulged in a couple of cocktails!
Day 6: Exploring Split Round 2
Split is definitely one of those cities than cannot be explored in just one day, you have to give yourself a bit of time to get lost and appreciate the city for what it is. So on day 6, that’s exactly what we did! Basically, this day ended up with us eating lots of ice cream and day drinking, which is one of my favourite things to do on holiday.
Day 7: Bol, Brac
On Day 7 we decided it was time to head out and explore another island. We were desperate to explore Croatia’s ‘Golden Beach’ in Bol. We were under the impression that this would be a sandy beach, seeing as pretty much all of the beaches in Croatia are pebbles. But, it was still pebbles, but just different coloured pebbles. However, this was a really great place to spend the day. The beach had loads of activities and food places, so you were never without something to do.
To get there we took the ferry to Supetar for 66KN, which you get can the tickets for on the day. Then from Supetar, we took a coach to Bol for 50KN return. Once in Bol, you can walk up to the beach which is only about a 20 minute walk away! I would definitely recommend taking the coach over a taxi because the route is actually really scenic! It was an unexpected surprise but I actually really enjoyed seeing the coast line and the whole island from the coach.
Day 8: Bacvice Beach
Our AirBnB hosts had actually warned us away from this beach, saying that it was very touristy. But, on our last day we decided to check it out. Although this isn’t the most picturesque beach, it is definitely one of the most fun and reasonably priced. During our whole stay, the water had been pretty cold at every beach we went too. This was probably because we went really early in the season. But on our last day it was lovely and warm!
There are loads of fun things you can do at this beach. We decided to splurge a little bit and rented out a sea kayak and a pedallo with a slide on it! It was great fun and the perfect end to a perfect holiday!